Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

We investigate how organisms interact with chemical signals.

We do research in the lab to better understand interactions at a molecular level.

We do research in the glasshouse and in the field to better understand interactions and signals in their natural environment.

Photo: Anna Schroll

Training and international collaborations are key features of our work.

We believe diversity and inclusion leads to the best science.

Research News

Removing the sugar component from a toxin in dandelion roots increases larval growth while simultaneously deterring the larvae from feeding.

Learned odors influence the moths' preferences for certain flowers and host plants. Olfactory sensory cells on the proboscis, on the other hand, play no role in learning.

Max Planck researchers decipher the chemical language underlying mating in 99 species of the genus Drosophila.

Current News and Announcements


Steffen Harzsch, Heinrich Dircksen, and Bill S. Hansson, "Local olfactory interneurons provide the basis for neurochemical regionalization of olfactory glomeruli in crustaceans," The Journal of Comparative Neurology (2021).
Simona Fenizia, Jerrit Weissflog, and Georg Pohnert, "Cysteinolic acid is a widely distributed compatible solute of marine microalgae," Marine Drugs 19 (12), 683 (2021).


The biochemist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena has been elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences.
Sarah O'Connor to receive the 2022 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products of the American Chemical Society.
The young Max Planck researcher studied how poplars defend themselves against two attackers at the same time: voracious caterpillars and pathogenic fungi.

Events and Seminars

IMPRS Symposium

Apr 6, 2022 - Apr 7, 2022

25th anniversary of the institute

Jun 1, 2022
Abbe Lecture Hall
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